Taste of Skye

10 January 2019

skye seafood

Photo: Christian Kadluba via CC

There are many varied reasons for visiting Skye, too many in fact to go into in one blog, but one of the most commonly overlooked highlights of the Misty Isle is the availability of spectacular food and drink. The Taste Local Awards were set up to highlight the enormous depth of amazing, fresh, organic and sustainable produce available on the island and this week they released the names of all their 2019 finalists in 10 categories such as Best Restaurant and Best Pub. Buying local food supports micro producers, the environment and the local economy and these awards recognise those businesses. Nominated by the public they also celebrate the depth of the foodie scene on the island. It would be impossible to taste all that Skye has to offer in one visit so here are three culinary itineraries taking in some of the highlights, each one centred around a luxury LHH property in a different corner of the island.

Beach House is right beside the sea and gazing across the water is bound to give you an appetite for some freshly landed seafood. You could go fishing from just outside the front of the house, but it would be much more reliable to book a table at Scorrybreac in Portree. This is the most sought after destination on the island but it is tiny inside so you should book as soon as you settle on your dates. The menu is seasonal but features Scottish classics with a contemporary French style. Also in Portree is the Isle of Skye Baking Company, an essential stop to load up on snacks for a day on the hills or a beach picnic. With 12 flavours of shortbread and 8 different oatcakes, as well as gingerbread, biscotti, fruitcake, tablet, artisan breads and a range of jams and chutneys you will have to try hard not to fill yourself up before dinner. If driving is more to your taste than hiking, a trip round the Trotternish Peninsula from here will take you to Uig and the Isle of Skye Brewery. The shop here has a large selection of freshly brewed ales and stouts as well as merchandise. Tasting are occasionally available but as the drink drive limit in Scotland is so low now, we would recommend waiting till you get home to enjoy a cold one with a view over the sea to Raasay and seals for company.

Saltwinds, not far from Carbost has a huge variety of dining experiences within easy reach. At one end of the spectrum The Oyster Shed offers fresh seafood, simply prepared to take away or eat straight away in the picnic area. It’s rustic but the emphasis is on local flavour, the produce does the talking, everything else is secondary. In stark contrast it’s only a short drive to the world renowned Three Chimneys at Colbost, the Michelin starred Loch Bay Restaurant at Stein, a 10 course tasting menu at the Edibane Lodge or the Red Roof, probably the most intriguing fine dining option on the island. This miniature restaurant at Glendale has a ‘croft to table’ ethos which offers a fixed three course seasonally changing menu. This means the chefs choose and harvest the required amount of fresh produce from their own and suppliers’ crofts on a daily basis. It’s a simple, no frills, approach which has won them a legion of fans, outstanding Tripadvisor reviews and a waiting list for tables.

The Sleat Peninsula is also peppered with amazing places to dine, from the award winning  community run café of An Crubh at Duisdale to Claire Macdonald’s Kinloch Lodge, the newly opened Gasta at Armadale castle, and the Eilean Iarmain. The whisky-bar here is especially welcoming and has been the cause of many delayed departures, including the odd visiting celebrity. For a more modern whisky experience then the newly opened Torbhaig Distillery is just a short walk from Teangue House. Here you can enjoy a tour as well as a tasting but without the worry of driving home afterwards. The house has spectacular views over to Knoydart and is a modern updating of a traditional croft home. It also has a fabulously well equipped kitchen if you feel the need to cook for yourself or are inspired by all the delicious produce that surrounds you.